Where in the world have you been?

A nifty little tool I saw on Neil’s journal… here’s a nifty visual representation of the U.S. states, European countries, and countries of the world to which I’ve been. (Yes, I know, I don’t get out much.) The really sad bit is that all of my world travelling (excluding Canada, which is so close I don’t quite count it as a foreign country) was done before I graduated high school….

Canadian provinces and U.S. states I’ve visited:

Poor Rhode Island! It’s so close, and yet… I’ll have to get over there this summer, or something. It’s so small, I overlooked it somehow.
European countries I’ve visited:

There’s an interesting story behind my visit to Austria– it was about 2 minutes long, and not entirely legal. I was 7, my family was touring Germany, and we’d taken the cable car up to the top of the Zugspitze in the Alps, which is smack on the border between Austria and Germany. All of us (except, I think, my mother) had left our passports in the camper, not thinking we’d need them at the top of an Alpine peak. But lo, the border fence runs right across the top of the mountain, so we thought it’d be neat to step across and peer down the other side. Only… no passports! The border guards were very nice, though, and this was looooong before 9/11, so they let me walk through the gate holding my mommy’s hand and look down the other side. (And it was worth it– there were golden eagles soaring on the updrafts over there… BELOW us.) My parents are still surprised I remember anything from that trip, as I was so young, but I remember a great deal of it. I remember how surprisingly beautiful Iceland was (very snowy, but pretty, even though it was overcast). I remember how amazingly litter-free the streets of Frankfurt were, compared to American cities. I remember paying for everyone else’s bus fare to the airport with the German marks I was going to keep as souvenirs, because the rest of the family had already exchanged their money for the trip home (and yes, I still rub it in). I remember my first taste of wine– actually, Kirschwasser, which put me to sleep in about 5 minutes. I remember seeing the fallen church bells in the Marienkirche in L├╝beck (although my mother insists we weren’t there, although we were in Kiel for several days). I remember visiting our relatives, and sitting in the kitchen happily chattering at my great-aunt in English (I spoke about ten words of German– although I understood a good deal more– and she had no English at all). I remember losing my brand-new Steiff rabbit (whom I’d named Peter) in Neuschwanstein (I’d tucked him into the pocket of my jacket because he wanted to see the castle, too), and being absolutely heartbroken that he was going to be all alone in that big dark castle, until one of the guards (who let us back in to look even though it was after closing time, in case I’d dropped him somewhere along the last part of the tour) assured me that he had a daughter at home who adored stuffed animals too, and that, should they find him in the coming days, he would take him home to her and she would give him a loving home. (And yes, remembering that still chokes me up. On their last visit to Germany, my parents brought me back (at my request) a new Steiff bunny. I think I’ve read The Velveteen Rabbit too many times.) And that also brings to mind when I’d gotten him– as an Easter present, while we were staying in a campground on Insel Mainau, where I got to pet live Easter bunnies. …wow. How did this turn into a memory lane of our trip to Germany? Okay, onward…
Countries of the world I’ve visited:

(Yes, I know, this is terribly pathetic. My list of future places to visit looks more like this:)

Create your own personalized maps at world66!

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